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Nigeria not yet polio-free —- Primary Health Care Development Agency boss

The polio vaccination campaign
The polio vaccination campaign

RUTH DAVID, Bauchi

Reports that Nigeria has been removed from countries in need of poliomyelitis immunization and also from the list of polio endemic countries are not true, according to the Bauchi Local Government Primary Health Care Development Agency.

Director of the agency, Bako Garba Gamawa, made the disclosure, Thursday, during a one-day sensitization exercise held for men and women in Bauchi.

The exercise was organized by the Bauchi Primary Health Care Development Agency in collaboration with Journalists Against Polio (JAPS) on Routine Immunization.

“Nigeria only had one year of interruption of Wild Polio Virus not eradication or removal from polio immunization as speculated in some quotas,” he explained.

According to him, “we need 24 months of interruption in order to eradicate polio and be certified polio free.”

The Director, therefore, advised all those spreading the wrong information that Nigeria is now polio-free, and consequently misleading people to reject the Routine Immunization (RI), to desist from the false impression.

He warned that anyone caught spreading such false information will be dealt with, just as he called on residents to keep their environment clean.

On his part, Imam Hadi Abbakar of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in his address at the occasion, reminded religious and traditional leaders of the need to support the immunization programme and create awareness among their followers and in their domains on the need to make their children available for the polio vaccine.

Speaking also, a participant, Malama Hajara Yusuf pledged, on behalf of the stakeholders on Polio Immunization, that they will embark on house-to-house campaign for routine immunization in the state.

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